Letting go of Chantix

Smoke Free 69 Days!

Today I have stopped taking my Chantix. From all I have read, there is no need to taper off. It has a half life of 24 hours, so in approximately 5 days it will completely be out of my system. This is true no matter what dosage you are taking 1mg, 2mg, .5mg, etc. So, in five days I will be smoke free and Chantix free. I have to say, with all the controversy surrounding Chantix, I will be glad to have it out of my system. Even though I did not have any of the weird side effects that people are claiming, I will just feel better knowing that is one less medication I will need to take. Others that have used Chantix have said they didn’t notice any withdrawel symptoms when they stopped the Chantix. I am hoping for the same. I am so glad that someone invented this drug that has helped me when no other
system worked before.

Now, I want my hour back! This is not a fun thing. I have had problems falling asleep, waking during the night, and not being able to get up in the morning, since I quit smoking. While I was smoking, I would go to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. and wake up automatically at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. I rarely had to set my alarm. Now, I can’t hardly get up in the morning. I moved my alarm clock across the room so I have to get out of bed to hit the snooze at 5:30 a.m. So now I get out of bed and hit the snooze, get back into bed and 10 minutes later it goes off again. So then I set three alarms. One on my cell phone for 5:30 and it’s really annoying and is right beside my bed and I have to open my eyes to turn it off other wise it just snoozes for 5 minutes. Then I have my radio come on at 5:45, then I have my alarm clock go off at 6:00. You would think with all of this i would be able to wake up enough to get out of bed. Nope! I can let that radio blare and the alarm beep louder and louder and still lay there in bed fall back to sleep! Help!

Okay, now let’s back up a bit. My evening routine consists of coming home, cooking or warming up something for dinner, then eating and watching the news. About 6 or 6:30 I will take 2-Tylenol PM (Diphenhydramine hydrochloride and Acetaminophen), or 2 Benadryl (Diphenhydramine hydrochloride), or one Herb capsule that contains (Valerian Root, Melatonin, and Chamomile). I only take one type as directed. I tried the Benadryl because I was not in pain and did not feel the acetaminophen was necessary. I thought I would try the herbs because they are natural, and since I quit smoking I am concerned about only taking natural things and not becoming addicted to something else.

So, here is the breakdown on how each has worked for me:

1. Tylenol PM-works sometimes but I am super sleepy in the morning.

2. Benadryl-same as above except I have to take 3 instead of two. (Don’t know why) I am not as sleepy in the morning.

3. Herbs-I take one capsule and it seems to work 4 hours. One time I woke up and took another one about 10:30 and was really sleepy in the morning. But I took it on a night I didn’t have to wake up early the next morning so that might be why I slept late. If I don’t take another one, I am awake every hour during the night and sleepy, but not horribly, in the morning.

From get-quit.com

These days, it seems like everyone’s having trouble sleeping. So if you’re not feeling rested, you’re in good company.

Fortunately, there are things you can do about it.

A Good Night’s Sleep.

Getting a decent night’s sleep is important for living a healthy life. If you’re well rested, it’s easier to cope with bad moods and stressful events.

There are ways to help you get a good night’s sleep. For instance, try going to bed at the same time every night. Develop a bedtime routine. Perhaps take a warm bath and read before you go to sleep. Try and take some quiet time, too. It may help.

Having a dark, quiet bedroom may help as well. If it’s noisy, or you have a partner who snores, consider earplugs. If light is a problem, think about getting an eye mask or hanging dark blinds over the window.

Here are some other tips:

  • If you need an afternoon nap, take it at the same time every day.
  • Avoid caffeine in the last 4 hours before bed. Alcohol may make it easier to drop off, but your sleep will be of poorer quality.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed.
  • Alcohol may make it easier to drop off, but your sleep will be of poorer quality.
  • If you want to read, watch TV or do anything else, it’s best to do it in a room other than your bedroom.
  • If you go to bed and can’t sleep, get up again. Stay up until you feel tired and try again. If that doesn’t work, repeat the process until it does.

Here is another story on how to get a good nights sleep http://www.dumblittleman.com/2008/03/3.html

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Smoke Free 62 Days!

Smoke Free 62 Days!

Okay, this is getting weird. I have been smoke free for 62 days. How can that be? I am calm, rational, conscious, focused, peaceful, serene, happy, employed, sane and the list could go on and on. What’s up with that? Normally when I quit I am totally INSANE! I never know what I might be capable of. So I must say, this is different and very interesting.

I have to blame the Chantix. That’s all I can think of that I have done different this time. Motivation has always been there for me, at least the last five years or so. I have given it everything I’ve got and still was not able to make it even 60 days. The patch, Nicotrol Inhaler, gum, lozenges, filters, herbs, and anything else you can think of, I have tried them all and nothing worked until now.

Grateful doesn’t even begin to tell you how I feel. This is a grace I have received from God and I did nothing to deserve it. It is a gift. A gift to me, my children, my Dad, my friends and to all the people that love me and care about me.

Through this blog I hope I can help others who have struggled the way I have struggled with quitting smoking. I may get Cancer tomorrow but at least I quit. My son who is still smoking, and my daughter, can see that their Mother can quit, after all those years of me telling them, “I Can’t.” Now when my son is ready to quit he will know that he CAN do it. There is a way out from under that horrible addiction to nicotine.

Once I finally made up my mind that I wanted to live instead of die, then I started to desperately search for a way out, a way to stop hurting myself and my Dad. I didn’t have to hurt anyone anymore, especially myself. Smoking is a slow suicide. For me smoking was an easier way to kill myself. I don’t think I consciously knew I hated myself and wanted to kill myself. But why would someone who is in their right mind want to continue with a behavior that will kill them? Now the keywords here are ‘right mind’. I cannot say I was in my ‘right mind’ while ingesting nicotine as fast and as often as I could. That was all I cared about was my next fix.

Freedom! That is what I have today. Freedom from slavery to Nicotine, freedom from stopping at the Kwik Stop when it is seven degrees outside and blowing snow and getting out of my nice warm car to slip on the ice as I trudge into the store for a pack of smokes. Freedom from excusing myself at family gatherings so I can go outside and smoke. Freedom from feeling like an outcast with my own family. Freedom from worrying if I’m going to have enough money to buy smokes, to heck with food, that comes second, I NEED CIGARETTES! Freedom from worrying about my health and when will I get Cancer? Freedom from the guilt I had every-time I would light a cigarette and know what my children would have to go through, not just if I died, but if I had a lung transplant and needed 24 hour care and the hardship and burden I would be on them when they are just starting to live their own lives. Freedom! That is what it is all about.

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Scary Chantix Story

This Is My Brain on Chantix

I’d heard it was the most effective stop-smoking drug yet. So I took it. Then those reports of suicidal ideation began washing in.

I have read a lot of the stories about what happens to people on Chantix. This one is very scary, but for me I see a common thread in all of them. DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE TAKING CHANTIX! Also, this guy had some weird nightmares which I have not experienced, maybe that is related to suicidal ideation. At any rate this is something that everyone should read if considering taking Chantix. Just be aware if this kind of stuff happens to you to quit taking it or call your Doctor immediately. Fortunately, I and several other people I know who took Chantix did not have anything near this type of side effect.
Let me know if you have experienced anything like this guy did when you were taking Chantx. Everyone that has commented or other blogs I’ve read about Chantix has been nothing but praise for this ‘Miracle Drug’. I’m curious if this is more Media Hype because it is something that really works! Please post you experience with Chantix. Thanks!

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Take a Walk!

Smoke Free 48 days!

These tips are courtesy of GetQuit Support from Chantix.com

Take a Walk!

Walking is good for almost everyone – and it’s easy to do. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes – and a place to go. Of course, before you begin any new physical activity, you should talk to your doctor.

Here are just a few of the benefits you may get from walking:

  • Manage your weight
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Decrease your risk for a heart attack
  • Lower your risk for a stroke
  • Strengthen muscles, bones and joints
  • Improve sleep

Walking may also help improve your overall mood and relieve stress – and we all know that stress is a big trigger for smoking.

Here are some ideas for getting walking into your routine. You can write down 1 or 2 of them, and tape them onto your refrigerator.

  • Take a morning walk to get you relaxed and focused before work.
  • If you walk your dog, vary your routes and try to make them a little longer.
  • Take a walk on your lunch hour, even if it’s just around the block or parking lot once or twice.
  • Offer to take your kids or grandkids to the playground or a park and get active with them.
  • Buy a pedometer and see if you can walk a little further each day.

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Smoke Free & Immune System Works!

Smoke Free 43 days!

Here we go! It’s incredible to be 43 days without a cigarette and not only that, NO NICOTINE in any shape or form. Wow!

The last couple of days I have been home sick with a horrible sharp cough that scared the crap out of me. I had a fever of 101.4 degrees, sore throat, stuffy head, and achy from head to toe. I thought I was going to die. All day Monday I slept, literally all day and night. I kept the Tylenol going and that was it. Yesterday I woke up at 6:00 a.m. felt the same and thought I was going to die. Took two Tylenol and went to bed. Then the strangest thing happened. I woke up at 10:00 a.m. and felt better, no aches and no fever. I actually got over it on my own. My body was able to fight it off. This was very strange, no Predisone, no antibiotic, no inhaler, just my healthy body. You know how wierd that is for me. Never in my adult life has this happened before. Yes, this is a great day to celebrate Life and being Smoke Free!

Ex-Smokers-Reward Yourself!!

Smoke Free 30 days!

What a deal. I got my new camera today! My reward for not smoking 30 days! It cost the same as the money I have saved from not smoking, actually about $100 less. I’m not going to act like it’s no big deal because it is a VERY BIG DEAL. Quitting smoking is the second thing I have done that will make the most profound difference on my life. The first of course was quitting drinking. Unbelievable to me that I am able to go an entire 30 days without a single puff. Phenomenal! I have to say that by myself I couldn’t do. God has taken care of the cravings and desire to quit. All I have done is the foot work. Ask for help, take my Chantix every day, read and write about quitting on Quitnet and on the Blogs.

I have a problem with ‘rewards’. Either I hate to spend the money– money that would have been spent on cigarettes that were killing me–or I feel like I don’t deserve it. Well by golly, I DESERVE IT, and so do you! So go out and reward yourself, whether you have 5 days or 500 days, reward yourself in some way. It doesn’t have to be monetary. I have made a list of my favorite FREE AND/OR INEXPENSIVE things you can do for yourself.

  • Nice long bubble bath with candles and soft music.
  • Spoil yourself with a magazine, buy one you don’t normally purchase.
  • Learn a new hobby, crochet, knit, photography, scrapbooking, etc. Most are cheap to get started, just a few dollars.
  • Buy a CD you have been wanting.
  • Go for a walk and enjoy the scenery and the free and easy breathing.
  • Take a weekend ‘get-a-way’. Sometimes close to home are museums or historical sites you haven’t visited. You don’t have to travel a long distance to enjoy a weekend out.
  • Do something you couldn’t-or didn’t like to-do when you were smoking. Like going to the movies, the library, or linger in the no-smoking area at a restaurant.
  • Have Sex. It’s great exercise and always a nice reward.
  • Buy a piece of jewelry you’ve had your eye on but didn’t want to spend the money on. Now you have an excuse to buy those 1/2 caret diamond earrings. They don’t cost much more than a months worth of cigarettes.
  • Got to a spa and have a pedicure or a manicure.

You can do something every week, i.e. magazines, or once a month or in a year. Whatever works for you. I am saving for my Giant Bike, $520 this spring so no more of these Camera buys between now and then.

Not smoking is awesome! Leave a comment and let me know what you are doing to reward yourself for not smoking.

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The Journey from Self-Destruct to Self-Love

Smoke Free 27 days!

I am curious about the desire to improve oneself. Why is it that some people have the need to better themselves — i.e., quit smoking, start exercising, eat healthier — and some people are on ‘self-destruct’? Actually, I have been on both sides of this coin. It comes down to self-love or self-hate, depending on where you are at. Look at Brittney Spears, it’s not hard to see that she doesn’t love herself right now. Oh I believe she loves her boys, but until she can love herself, she has nothing to offer them.

When I was on self-destruct, I was so ‘self’ absorbed that all I could think about was myself. I loved my children but, I was not capable of showing that love or contributing anything that would benefit them at the time. Alcohol was what I loved the most. It’s hard to admit that it consumed my every thought, action, and feeling. My life was all about Alcohol and I can say the same about cigarettes

.Quit Smoking
Being a slave to a chemical like nicotine or alcohol is being on self-destruct. It’s like a slow suicide so it is not surprising that a lot of smokers are depressed people. When we smoke we are self medicating our depression. Nicotine is an upper so it works for us. When we quit, we get depressed. Some of us get dangerously depressed. Suicidal thoughts, no hope, and crying constantly. These are all experiences I have had when I’ve tried to quit smoking in the past. This time it is different. The Chantix has made it so that I can feel somewhat normal while not ingesting Nicotine into my blood stream. I am on an anti-depressant so I am anxious to see what happens to me after 12 weeks on Chantix. Will I crash and smoke again? God, I pray I don’t. I have come too far and learned too much during this quit to go back to smoking. And smoking again will absolutely crush my self-esteem–what little bit I have gotten since I quit–and that would depress me all the more.

Now that I am on the other side, self-love, it has become clear to me of one major difference between self-hate and self-love. God. He was nowhere in my life when I was abusing Alcohol. I have struggled with a ‘conscious contact’ with Him during my sobriety. I try to remember to ask Him to Please keep me Sober in the morning and Thank Him at night for doing so. Having a scheduled time in the morning for my readings and meditation helped me with this but, since I started attending 7:00 a.m. meetings, I have let that go by the wayside. The last few weeks I haven’t been able to attend the early meetings so I went to a different group on Friday night. Everything in my life has changed since I quit smoking so I shouldn’t be surprised my meeting schedule would change also. When I quit drinking, everything in my life changed also. Doing things differently is what going from self-hate to self-love is all about. I need to be more open to the changes that are happening in my life. Not just the physical, which is all I have been focusing on for the last 27 days, but the spiritual and mental changes too.

Quitting smoking has made me crave a more spiritual life. I feel that my heart is open to God and there isn’t any ‘clogged arteries’ anymore coming from guilt or hating myself. Loving me, being comfortable in my own skin, is something I have searched for in bottles and in packs all my life but, I could never find. I have found it because God is in my life today whether I am ‘conscious’ of Him or not, He is here with me at all times. He loves me, which means I am lovable, which means I deserve to be loved. That love comes from me, loving myself, taking care of myself, so that I now have love to give to my children and family, plus any other people I meet along this journey that I am on. It’s true, ‘you can’t love someone, until you love yourself.’

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